Traveling can be a pretty broad term. It can be the thirty minutes to two hours you spend on your daily commute to work (Read: 8 Ways to Exercise in the Car during Your Daily Commute) .
It can be the business trips you take whenever your company needs you in a different city or country for work-related purposes.
Or, most enjoyably, it can be the vacations you to take to different places with your friends or family.
Whatever the reason, traveling is often a time where whatever workout regimen you had going on slacks and where you may pack on unwanted pounds. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways you can exercise and stay in shape while on a trip. Below are some of the most popular.
Park Further from Your Building
One easy way to get a little more exercise in when traveling is to park further away from “your building” than you normally would. “Your building” can be many things, from the hotel you are staying in to the office suite you are having your meeting at. Parking half a mile away gives you an extra mile every time you go out, and this extra cardio could at least be the replacement for that large restaurant meal.
These are a variation of regular crunches designed specifically for commuters. They can be done in pretty much any mode of transportation like a bus or airplane (or even a car if you are the passenger). Start by sitting in a normal position with your feet flat and shoulder-width apart on the floor. Keep your upper body relaxed as you contract your lower abdomen. Hold this contraction as you round your lower back and move your chest down towards your waist, engaging your upper abdomen. Hold this position for ten seconds while breathing slowly, sit up back, and then repeat.
Calf raises are extremely simple; all you do is raise yourself up on your toes for as many reps as it takes to get a good burn going. They are also a great exercise for traveling because you can do them almost anywhere. You can do them standing on a bus, in the subway station waiting for a train, or standing in line at the airport.
If you are serious about staying in shape while you travel then you should plan ahead by bringing your own equipment. Obviously you don’t want anything bulky or heavy, so that limits what you can bring. First and foremost you need to pack your sneakers. Apart from what you do on the commute, any other exercising you do will likely require them. For many people a jump rope and/or resistance bands should be the only other things necessary to pack. Jumping rope is an excellent fat burner and there are a wide variety of exercises you can complete using the resistance bands for added tension. If you’d like you can also pack any supplements or vitamins you take when working out at home.
Bring Workout DVDs
If you normally use a specific workout DVD program at your house you can bring that along too. Most hotel rooms have a TV and DVD player, or you can just play them on your laptop. Or if you don’t have DVDs but you have brought your laptop or tablet than you can simply look up any number of YouTube exercise videos. The great thing about such programs and videos is that they are designed to be done indoors, meaning you shouldn’t need any more room than what you have in your hotel (or wherever you are staying).
Use Your Hotel Room
If you don’t have equipment or workout DVDs, or just don’t feel like packing that stuff, there are other ways to work out wherever you are staying during your travels. Most hotels have a gym, but you don’t even need to leave your room to get a good work out. All it takes is some creativity with your environment. The edge of the bathroom tub is a great place to do dips. Propping your feet up on the bed or a bench allows you to do decline pushups. A clothes iron is an extremely versatile weight, and you can do squats, curls, and any other number of exercises that normally require a dumbbell. Also, if your hotel has a pool then that is a great place to get in some cardio and exercise your entire body at once.
Eating healthy is a chore on its own, but it can be even more so when you are traveling (especially if you are on vacation!). When going out to eat try to pick restaurants that offer healthy options (Read: The Best Food Substitutions to Promote Weight Loss). Skipping the hotel minibar and breakfast buffet are also a good idea. You can put your own healthy snacks and breakfast items in the fridge and utilize the room’s microwave and/or oven. If the room doesn’t have either of these things but it has a coffee maker than you can use this to heat up water for some delicious and nutritious oatmeal.
If you are on vacation, or even traveling for work, try to walk as often as you can when you go out. If restaurants, shopping, nightlife, or wherever you are going are an easy walking distance from your hotel than skip the cab or car and get some exercise instead. If you are going out but don’t have plans yet than you can usually ask the hotel front desk to direct you to entertainment options that are within walking distance. Another thing you can do is to set aside time for some running. Get up early in the morning or do it later in the day, it doesn’t matter. Going for a run is a great way to take in a new town and even make some mental notes of where to go later on. If you are at the beach than running in the sand is an extra good workout!
Go to the Park
Another way to stay in shape when you are traveling is to locate a park nearby and go to it at least a few times a week. Exercising at the park also does not require any equipment other than the tools already provided by the park itself. You can jog or do bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, or whatever else you can think of. Most parks also have pull up bars and other types of equipment you can utilize in creative ways for your workouts.
Pick Places that Promote Exercise
This applies more for when you are traveling for vacation, as you typically don’t get to pick the locale on business trips, but try and pick destinations that naturally lend themselves to exercise. You could go to the mountains and hike. You could go to the beach and swim and run. Rocky places lend themselves to more hiking and rock-climbing. Cities with abundant sidewalks lend themselves to a lot of walking. You can see where I am going with this. This tip is extremely applicable to the outdoor-adventures, but really who doesn’t love the great outdoors?